Greenland Dog

Other names: The Greenland, Kalaallit qimmiat (Qimmeq), Grønlandshund, Grünlandshund, Esquimaux Dog

Greenland Dog
Greenland Dog

The Greenland Dog is a large sled dog. They were brought from Siberia to North America over 1,000 years ago and were also used for hunting seals and polar bears. It’s closely related to the Siberian Husky and shares many of the same characteristics. The Greenland Dog is strong, loyal, and very confident. Nothing fazes this assured working dog. They require an equally confident and well-experienced handler. 


Key facts about the Greenland Dog

  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 14 years
  • Temperament : Hunter
  • Size : Large
  • Type of coat : Long, Hard
  • Price : Between £700 and £900

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types


Section 1 : Nordic Sledge Dogs

Physical characteristics of the Greenland Dog

Adult size

Female dog Between 22 and 24 in
Male dog Between 24 and 26 in


Female dog Between 62 and 71 lb
Male dog Between 62 and 71 lb

Coat colour

Any combination of black, white, brown, red and grey. 

Type of coat

Thick, dense fur. Soft undercoat. Harsh topcoat.

Eye colour

Brown. Blue. Hazel. Amber.


A strong, compact dog with a thick neck and large head. Long, fluffy tail. A well-balanced and confident posture. Dense fur, especially around the chest and belly.



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The Greenland Dog is an affectionate family pet, but they also need their own space. Don’t overwhelm them with too much attention. They’ll come and say hello when they’re ready for more strokes.


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This dog is a real extrovert. They love playing, entertaining, and showing off to people. These high-energy dogs will play for hours.


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Greenland dogs take quite a long time to mature. This means they can display puppy-like behaviour well into their early adulthood. Can become overwhelming and hyperactive if not handled correctly.


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Exceptionally intelligent. This makes them easy to train in the right hands. These dogs have a low threshold for boredom; training needs to be challenging and well-structured.


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Although they’re mainly used for pulling sleds, the Greenland Dog is also a first rate hunter. They were once used to track seals and polar bears.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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A brave and assured animal. Nothing scares these confident dogs. They’re naturally curious and will rarely shy away from anyone. 


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The Greenland Dog has a strong independent streak. They can come across as quite stubborn. Inexperienced owners will struggle to handle this willful animal. 

Behaviour of the Greenland Dog

Tolerates solitude

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These dogs have been living and working alongside humans for thousands of years. They need lots of company. Prolonged periods of solitude will frustrate this social animal.

Easy to train / obedience

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This all depends on the quality and experience of the dog handler. Expert trainers will really enjoy training this smart dog. Inexperienced owners will struggle.


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Greenland Dogs are well-known for being vocal. They’re big barkers and big howlers, although they tend to calm down as they start to mature.

Tendency to run away

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A notorious escape artist. Make sure there’s no gaps in the garden fence. They’re also more than capable of jumping over smaller fencing.


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A frustrated or lonely Greenland Dog will quickly turn destructive. They also love to dig and bury bones. Proud gardeners will need to fence off their flower beds. 

Greedy / Gluttony

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Not known for being greedy or gluttonous. They do have a large appetite, but this is normal for a big working dog.

Guard dog

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Greenlands aren’t the best watch dogs. However, they make an excellent deterrent.

First dog

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Inexperienced dog owners looking for a pet should explore some other options. The Greenland Dog requires a confident and firm handler. First-time owners will be quickly overwhelmed by this strong-willed animal.


Greenland Dog in a flat

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A flat is too small for this big dog. They also need regular access to outdoor spaces. 

Need for exercise / Sporty

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2 hours exercise every single day. Ideally, this should be split into two seperate walks - one in the morning, then one in the early evening. 

Travelling / easy to transport

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Ok with short car journeys, but will struggle with longer road trips. Far too big to travel on trains or airplanes. 


Greenland Dog and cats

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Greenland Dogs don’t mix well with cats! In fact, it’s best to keep them well apart. 

Greenland Dog and dogs

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Greenland dogs are pack animals. They get on really well with other dogs. 

Greenland Dog and children

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A naturally playful animal that makes a perfect pet for families with older children. Greenland Dogs are too big and boisterous for families with toddlers. 

Greenland Dog and the elderly

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Elderly people might feel overwhelmed by the Greenland Dog. The puppies can be quite hyperactive and tend to stay this way for their first few years. 


The initial price of a Greenland Dog puppy will be between £700 to £900. With regards to the monthly budget required to meet the needs of a dog this size, you have to estimate an average of £55 per month.


Requires brushing two to three times a week. 


Heavy shedders during spring and autumn.

Nutrition of the Greenland Dog

4 cups of high-quality dog food split over two or three meals. 

Health of the Greenland Dog

Life expectancy

A very healthy breed with an average life expectancy of 10 to 14 years.

Strong / robust

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One of the toughest breeds of all. A strong, well-built dog with lots of stamina. 

Withstand heat

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Greenland Dogs don’t support the heat very well. They were bred to live in sub-zero conditions. Hot temperatures will make them very uncomfortable. 

Withstand cold

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No problems withstanding the cold. The Greenland Dog has a thick, double coat that keeps them warm. It’s also windproof and waterproof. 

Tendency to put on weight

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No issues with unwanted weight gain or obesity.

Common illnesses

Good to know

Greenland Dogs can be very difficult to handle. Early training and socialisation is vital.

They tend to bark a lot. They also enjoy howling, and often late at night. They can jump really high. These dogs can easily leap over a four foot high fence.

Origins and history

The Greenland Dog has been hunting and living alongside humans for the last 2,000 years. They were bred from the working dogs and wolves of Northern Siberia. They were then taken to North America by the Thule tribes as they migrated across the globe. As well as hunting and tracking large land predators, they also pulled sleds over huge distances in sub-zero temperatures. Many still compete in sled trial competitions in Alaska and Siberia. They were first brought to UK shores in the 1850s. Owners began showing the Greenland in dog shows around 1870, and the first UK kennel club was established ten years later in 1880.


Snow, Arya, Ghost, Shaggy

Find out more dog name ideas here


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